It’s Thanksgiving, and 2020 has been a doozy! All the more reason to take a moment to be grateful, and remember that through it all, there are still many things to feel grateful for. Here are reasons we are feeling thankful, even–or especially–in a year like 2020.
We Are Grateful For…
Donors who showed up for our students and kept them all afloat, even as you faced your own challenges and uncertainty. You made it possible to provide emergency funding through job loss, critical supplies like food and dry goods, hygiene products to protect against COVID-19, internet packages to keep students connected to their education and their mentors, and outreach efforts to vulnerable communities. You made weathering the storms of this year possible, and we are so grateful to you.
“Anywhere our supporters are in the world, I hope they only experience good things. There are so many people still waiting for an opportunity like this one. We can’t speak the same language, we don’t get to meet, but we think about them all the time.” – students’ mom
Students who remained resilient even through challenges keeping up with their education during lockdown, and through financial strain from job loss. This resilience is central to their safety from exploitation, and to supporting their freedom. These students are so inspiring, and we can’t wait to share more of their stories with you in the coming weeks!
Families of students who trust us with their precious children and open up their lives to share with us their struggles, hopes, and dreams. It takes a lot of trust and courage to share both the best and worst that life has thrown at you, and we are grateful that families are willing to be so open with us, and so accepting of help.
Local community members who collaborated with us as we responded to the unique needs presented by COVID as well as the transition back to normal life, post-lockdown. Partnerships made it possible to offer virtual mental health and counseling services, make masks to distribute widely, and the community really came together to offer emergency food supplies. We also appreciate the openness of local migrant communities who were open to hearing what we had to say about how to stay safe against COVID, and allowed us to distribute masks and other supplies. This solidarity is truly heart-warming and appreciated.
Staff who are there for our students through thick and thin. At a time when isolation presented a variety of dangers, our staff proved themselves undaunted in making sure every student felt supported and that no one was left alone through the crisis. And wherever possible, they did incredible footwork reaching out to vulnerable communities to share information and resources to those who might have otherwise been left in the dark.
A Thailand director who has expanded and grown our networks, and shown above-and beyond commitment to supporting migrant communities. From building networks with a variety of government agencies and nongovernmental organizations, to advocating for migrant rights to return home safely when COVID-19 hit, our director, Veerawit, has brought our local leadership to a whole new level.
Advisors, mentors, and partners. These people are our tribe. From board members to fellow advocates, to friends, these people have extended incredible amounts of support to help guide us as we navigate our way through combating trafficking even in a pandemic. These networks show us daily we don’t have to do this work alone.
Other leaders in the anti-trafficking field. Friendships and partnerships with others who also are committed to the fight to end trafficking and exploitation is the only way to combat trafficking globally. We each have a role to play: from survivor leaders to counselors to researchers to law enforcement to social workers. We share our experiences with each other so that we can learn from each other. It’s the only thing that brings such a hidden problem out into the light so we can counter it effectively. Collaboration gives us hope that one day we will see an end to trafficking – not just for our community, but for everyone.
Everyone who has shared, commented, liked, and forwarded our messages on social media and elsewhere. Every single bit of support helps us feel encouraged, expands our reach, shares awareness about trafficking and the message of prevention, helps counter misinformation, and is critical to making sure our programs keep running.
And last but most definitely not least….
Our bodies. Whatever this year has been like, whether we’ve suffered illness, or hardship, or remained healthy, our bodies have gotten us this far. In a culture where we receive so many messages teaching us to hate our bodies or demand more of them, in this year of all years, we have a reminder to give thanks for getting this far when so many haven’t.
THANK YOU. To everyone on this list. YOU ensure the promise of freedom.
We believe prevention is one of the keys to ending the trafficking of children. When we invest in their education and growth, we protect them against those who would exploit them, and we provide the security that makes freedom possible. If you believe in prevention like we do, you can take part by helping ensure our prevention programs keep running in 2021.
Here’s how you can help:
- Please support us in reaching our $50,000 goal by December 31st. Any gift made between now and the end of the year will be DOUBLED! Click HERE to Give Now!
- Giving Tuesday is just a few days away and we hope to raise $15,000 that day! If you haven’t done so already, please sign up through Global Giving to create a fundraising page and tell your friends and family about our campaign.